AG Secures $58.5M From Mallinckrodt Over Opioid Crisis
A New York Attorney General secured up to $58.5 million from Mallinckrodt plc, which is one of the largest drug manufacturers of opioids in the country, over its role in fueling the opioid crisis.
It is only the second agreement between the AG and Mallinckrodt over the harm caused to the New Yorkers. Earlier, Mallinckrodt was charged $26.8 million to be paid for the Medicaid fraud.
The AG stated that Mallinckrodt is accountable for pumping millions of addictive and harmful opioid pills into communities, causing the crisis across the country. The growing profit of the company eventually fueled the crisis resulting in growing addiction issues and loss of lives. Although the effect of the crisis cannot be reversed, the funds received from the settlement would help New York to deal with the opioid crisis.
In March 2019, the AG filed a lawsuit against Mallinckrodt after its move to enter into bankruptcy. The lawsuit alleged that the company used deceptive and misleading marketing strategies to boost the sales and use of highly addictive opioids that have harmed the huge population of the country.
Mallinckrodt now has 18 months to decide if it would prepay claims worth approximately $41.1 million or pay the state $58.5 million over eight years for fueling the opioid crisis.
Five drug manufacturers will settle the claims made by the AG for their role in the opioid crisis, and Mallinckrodt is one of them. Other manufacturers involved in the lawsuit are Purdue Pharma and its affiliates along with the Sackler family, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates along with its parent company Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates; and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates. McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc. are the distributors involved in the lawsuit.
Supreme Court Denies Bayer's Plea To Nix Weedkiller Lawsuits
Bayer AG's bid to dismiss legal claims brought by Roundup weedkiller users who claim that the product causes cancer has been denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The company's move is focused to avoid the payment of billions of dollars in damages that are required to pay in the ongoing Roundup litigation. Bayer has appealed the verdict announced in the lower court, where the company was ordered to pay $25 million in damages to a Californian resident who alleged that the pharmaceutical and chemical giant's glyphosate-based weedkillers caused cancer in him.
Bayer is trying to limit its legal liability in thousands of cases. Hence, the Supreme Court will closely watch the company's move before deciding on whether to take up the appeal. Former U.S. President Donald Trump supported Bayer by asking the court to hear the appeal, but the current President Joe Biden's administration urged to reject the plea.
So far, Bayer has won three trials over its Roundup weedkiller, where the users have been rewarded tens of millions of dollars in each lawsuit.
Bayer has even asked the Supreme Court to review another verdict which was upheld by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2021. The plaintiff involved in this lawsuit alleged that he used Roundup for 26 years at his home in northern California, eventually resulting in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for him.
Bayer claimed that their product was considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, citing that the cancer warning was not required to be printed on the products. The company claims that it cannot be penalized as the products were EPA verified.
3rd Consecutive Win For Bayer In Roundup Lawsuit
Bayer has been awarded a win by a Missouri jury in the Roundup lawsuit where a man alleged that he got diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma due to the usage of the company's weedkiller.
The trial kick-started in early May and went on for over a month finally being rewarded in favor of Bayer. It is the third consecutive win for the company over its weedkiller.
As per the plaintiff's lawyers, Bayer sold defective herbicide under the name of Roundup Ready to Use brand, which was used by the plaintiff, and exposure to it resulted in the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for the plaintiff in 2016. The case focused on the company's failure to warn the customers about the allegedly defective products.
The lawsuit is a part of the ongoing wave of litigation that involves tens of thousands of people who have sued Bayer by alleging that its product Roundup caused cancer in them. The plaintiff's lawyer said that they are disappointed by the verdict and are considering options to fight back against the verdict.
The plaintiff's lawyers are looking forward to a four-plaintiff trial slated to start in October against Monsanto in St. Louis County. In a similar lawsuit which would be overlooked by a different jury in Jackson County, a plaintiff's twin brother has alleged that the company's weedkiller caused cancer in him.
A spokesperson for Bayer said that the weedkiller does not cause cancer, and the plaintiff's cancer was a result of his smoking habit and not the exposure to Roundup.
Currently, Bayer faces tens of thousands of Roundup lawsuits from the people who used or got exposed to the weedkiller, which eventually resulted in injuries for them, including cancer. All the lawsuits allege that the company withheld the information that exposure to Roundup could have adverse effects on health.
JMPL Agrees To Centralize 70 Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
A panel of federal judges has agreed to centralize over 70 hernia mesh lawsuits against a Medtronic unit in the Massachusetts federal court.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation initiated the move citing the allegations from the patients that the hernia mesh products caused injuries. As per a JMPL's order during a July 2020 hearing, there were only 12 suits pending against Medtronic's Covidien, which eventually resulted in the rejection of the suits' centralization. But now, there are 73 suits pending against the products in seven districts.
All the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuits raise similar allegations that certain polypropylene products sold by the company resulted in the patients suffering from painful and debilitating complications. The products causing the injuries include Covidien Parietex, Covidien Symbotex and others.
The plaintiffs even allege that the hernia mesh products are brittle and prone to problems like inflammation. Some patients have even alleged that collagen barrier or polylactic microgrips used in some of the mesh products are defective.
Centralizing the federal lawsuits is necessary to make coordinating the litigations easier as there are 4,700 cases pending against the mesh products in the Massachusetts state court. It is one of the rare instances where both defendant and the plaintiffs' groups have agreed on the need to consolidate and coordinate the suits in an MDL. The company even argued that more cases are expected to be filed, which will make informal coordination and cooperation difficult.
The spokesperson for the company said that it is confident in defending the lawsuits as Covidien hernia mesh products have been safely used by millions of users throughout the years.